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Review: Ibiza Rocks Closing Party, 17th September

Waving goodbye to Ibiza Rocks to the tune of Bombay Bicycle Club and Dan Croll.

As the White Isle enables Closing Party mode, Ibiza Rocks kicked things off with their last live music spectacle thanks to British singer/songwriter extraordinaires Dan Croll and Bombay Bicycle Club.

Rising star Dan Croll and his Harry Potter-esque specs took to the al fresco stage armed with a live band and an acoustic-fuelled set including his latest offering Hello My Baby. Impeccably arranged and featuring an unexpectedly striking bass, the show displayed not only Croll's impressive vocal range but his band's too. Ibiza has been enjoying the unreleased Âme remix of Croll's 2012 hit From Nowhere all summer but it was a refreshing change to hear the original, tenderer track performed live. (And now Apple has got their mitts on this tune for their new trailer, expect it to explode in the next few months!) With the venue comfortably busy and not a shuffler in sight all night, Croll, dressed in the epitome of geek-chic, rounded up his folk-fused set with the gentle, heart-warming, fuzzy-feeling-giving number Home which had the holiday-makers swaying and humming along to the lyrics of trendy bare floors and parents' carpets.

Fast forward to quarter to ten and London lads Bombay Bicycle Club pedalled in to get the party wheels in motion. A red-polo-shirted Jack Steadman addressed the crowd - “Ibiza, how's it going?” - as psychedelic, kaleidoscopic visuals pranced on the screen behind him. Whoever was in charge of stage production needs a gold star from me; as the band played we were entertained with dancing skeletons, galloping horses and a man in a canoe throughout the course of the night. Sometimes live bands skimp on visuals as they prefer the focus to be on the music so this was a stimulating change and complimented the lads' performance perfectly. Furthermore it was strobe-lights-and-smoke-machine galore as the talented quartet played my personal favourite and mammoth crowd-pleaser Evening/Morning before mellowing down effortlessly in to one of their more recent numbers, the 2012 favourite, How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep.

Bombay Bicycle Cub's signature preppy drum beat and unique twang (as well as the Indie uniform of skinny jeans) were all present thanks to the onstage presence of the three brass players, keyboardist and backing vocalist Liz Lawrence who's delicate tone complimented Steadman's wistful, velvety vocals faultlessly. As the familiar strums of Home By Now rolled in, the girl next to me exclaimed “Oh I love this one,” before Steadman proved he was a man of many talents, taking to a drum set for Feel. The exotic beat and the cartoon cobras dancing around in the visuals made it a very fitting song for a Balearic closing party. Cue the tambourine and rain stick and the track had more feet moving than the Tour De France. I applaud how Bombay Bicycle Club managed to balance their inventive electronic pop-based newer material with their old gems like jubilant, riff-delicious Always Like This. Of course the band did the old encore stint, you know the one where they leave and everyone is cheering “One more song! One more song!”, before finishing things off with hard-hitting Carry Me.

Although Isla Blanca bids Ibiza Rocks adieu, Croll proved Ibiza's soundscape has many faces (and musical tastes) and Bombay Bicycle Club had us swaying in melodic momentum one moment and holding on to our handlebars the next. What a perfect send off for the indie-based venue. Adios until next year Ibiza Rocks.

WORDS | Francesca Evans PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman


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